International Left Handers Day

by GoEngineer

In the spirit of International Left Handers Day, here is a look at broken bones, right-handed scissors and leveraging technology from a lefty point of view.

I was built to stay indoors. My family played musical instruments and attended the theater. Here is why, whenever I went outdoors there was a fairly high likelihood that I would end up breaking a bone. This happened in 1st, 3rd, and 7th grade.

International Left Handers Day

The other kids would jump off the top of a building on a skateboard and laugh afterwards, while I would break my arm playing keep away with a soccer ball. My bone of choice to break was the radius in my forearm; twice on the right side, once on the left.


The first fracture, the focus for this post, was my right arm after playing basketball at recess. My own teammate fell on me while we were both trying to save a ball from going out. The funny part is that we were playing 2 vs 1. If we were both saving the ball, there was nobody it could have gone to except the one other person on the court – our opponent.

Three things going on in 1st grade, a big time for development, include:

  • 1. Longer school day.
  • 2. Math, math, and more math.
  • 3. Art becomes more prevalent as our fine motor skills become more refined.

All of this was problematic for me because I had to learn how to write, color and cut with my left hand just to survive the daily lessons.

During this period, I became somewhat ambidextrous. I remember drawing an awesome purple hippo, with great control.


The hardest task during this recovery time was cutting paper. I had my safety tipped blue Fiskars scissors with my name in Sharpie on them. The problem was they were right-handed scissors. I was saving all my money at the time for the new Power Rangers video game, so I toughed it out for 6-8 weeks without the proper tools for a lefty.

International Left Handers Day


If this event were to repeat itself today, I could leverage several technologies we have in the office to get me temporarily squared away during recovery.

Five steps to custom grip lefty scissors.

  1. First, I would take my HandySCAN 3D Scanner and create a point cloud of my right-handed scissors.
  2. At that point, the data could be read into Design X, processed, and exported as a full featured SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD model.
  3. From there, I would use the Mirror Components command in SOLIDWORKS to create a left-handed version of the geometry.
  4. Finally, I would save out an STL to send over to a 3D printer. The Stratasys Connex line can print Digital ABS with such fine resolution that the blades are sharp enough to cut paper!
  5. Furthermore, within a day I would have a finished product to keep me more productive around the office during my recovery time.

Of course, now that I’m in the workforce, I could just drop by the local Staples and pick up a pair of left hander scissors, no problem. But where’s the fun in that?

International Left Handers Day

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